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Deal selected as backdrop for another ITV drama Vanity Fair

By Eleanor Perkins

TV crews have descended on Deal today as the town has been chosen as the backdrop for another ITV drama.

Actors, actresses and two horses have taken over the promenade and part of the beach on one side of the Pier to film scenes for a new adaptation of William Makepeace Thackeray’s Vanity Fair.

The seven-part drama has been written by Gwyneth Hughes of Dark Angel, The Girl and Miss Austen Regrets.

Filming is taking place in London and Budapest as well as Deal

Filming is taking place in London and Budapest as well as Deal

It stars Olivia Cooke - a 23 year old Oldham-born actress and star of Steven Spielberg’s forthcoming film Ready Player One - as timeless heroine Becky Sharp, and will air next year.

The classic costumes and impressive scenes are stopping many passers by in their tracks.
Dover District Council has cordoned off a number of car parking spaces in Beach Street to allow for the crew’s vehicles.

A base has also been set up at Walmer gravel car park in Kingsdown Road - which has been used by TV crews in the past.

Vanity Fair will be aired next year on ITV

Vanity Fair will be aired next year on ITV

Filming is taking place on the promenade and beach

Filming is taking place on the promenade and beach

The actors chat between scenes

The actors chat between scenes

Gwyneth Hughes’ adaptation of Thackeray’s literary classic is set against the backdrop of the Napoleonic Wars, and follows Becky Sharp as she attempts to claw her way out of poverty and scale the heights of English Society.

Her story of “villainy, crime, merriment, lovemaking, jilting, laughing, cheating, fighting and dancing”, takes her all the way to the court of King George IV, via the Battle of Waterloo, breaking hearts and losing fortunes as she goes.

Two black horses are also on set

Two black horses are also on set

Head of Drama at ITV, Polly Hill, said: “Vanity Fair feels like the perfect classic to adapt for ITV, and Gwyneth Hughes’ stunning scripts bring the novel to life in a way that will really connect with a modern audience.

"The question was always who would be our perfect Becky Sharp and that is undoubtedly Olivia Cooke!

Filming is taking place in Deal throughout today

Filming is taking place in Deal throughout today

“So we are thrilled she has agreed to play Becky, in what promises to be a very exciting new drama for ITV next year.”

As well as in Deal, filming will also take place in and around London, with additional shooting in Budapest.

It is the second time in a year that the town has been used for filming. In November and January, crews took over the town for filming of new ITV drama Liar which is on screens now.

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